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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The state of change of Erica scoparia L. heathland through cattle grazing and oak colonization

Published source details

Gachet S., Sarthou C., Bardat J. & Ponge J. (2009) The state of change of Erica scoparia L. heathland through cattle grazing and oak colonization. Revue d'Ecologie, Terre et Vie, 64, 3-17


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Increase number of livestock Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

A site comparison study in 2006 in six heathland sites in France (Gechet et al. 2009) found that areas grazed by cattle had a higher number of plant species, higher cover of grass and non-ericaceous shrubs, but lower cover of ericaceous shrubs. Grazed sites had a higher number of plant species and cover of grass (species: 13–14 species/plot, grass: 47–54% cover) than ungrazed sites (species: 7–8 species/plot, grass: 2–24% cover). Grazed sites also had higher cover of non-ericaceous shrubs (66–67%) than three of the four ungrazed sites (9–58%). However, cover of ericaceous shrubs was lower in grazed sites (56–63%) than in ungrazed sites (86–95%). No statistical tests were carried out in this study. Two moderately grazed sites and four ungrazed sites were selected for study. In 2006 four 1 m2 plots were placed at each site and plant cover estimated.

(Summarised by Phil Martin)

Reduce number of livestock Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

A site comparison study in 2006 in six heathland sites in France (Gachet et al. 2009) found that sites not grazed by cattle had a lower number of plant species, lower cover of grass and non-ericaceous shrubs, but higher cover of ericaceous shrubs. Ungrazed sites had a lower number of plant species and cover of grass (species: 7–8 species/plot, grass: 2–24% cover) than grazed sites (species: 13–14 species/plot, grass: 47–54% cover). Three of the four ungrazed sites also had lower cover of non-ericaceous shrubs (9–58%) than grazed sites (66-67%). However, cover of ericaceous shrubs was higher in ungrazed sites (86-95%) than in grazed sites (56-63%). Two moderately grazed sites and four ungrazed sites were selected for study. In 2006 four 1 m2 plots were placed at each site and plant cover estimated.

(Summarised by Phil Martin)